Ecologías Queer / Queer Ecology - Lake Harding Association

Ecologías Queer / Queer Ecology

Ecologías Queer / Queer Ecology

By Micah Moen 1 Comment October 8, 2019

Good morning to all of you. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you very much for this generous invitation. For this opportunity to talk to all of you. I want to start by proposing a topic I hope
will inspire you for the rest of the week. I’m going to talk about a very personal and
passionate idea which is the topic of Queer Ecologies. And to do so, I’m going to talk to you initially about motivation. Before I start, I’ll make some preliminary remarks. None of what I may say here could be used against me nor the Alexander Von Humboldt Institute. Because there were many people involved who are in this presentation, without their permit. If some of them are sitting here at this presentation, I’d like to beg their indulgence. Besides, this is part of an old project from the Colombian National Institute of Biodiversity that deals with the eventual creation of a Natural History Museum. The Alexander Von Humboldt Institute was created 23 years ago. Its main objective is promoting research about Colombia’s Biodiversity to give decision makers the path that has to be taken regarding what has to be done. The institute from its foundation houses Colombian’s Biodiversity Collections. A picture of those collections is here in this first slide. There’re more than a half million species. Both herbarium as well as all animal taxonomic groups. There are also some genetic collections, and so on. This’s standard work that’s been developed in the whole world from the enlightenment, that’s knowledge systematization in an organized manner, It’s the world’s knowledge that allows us to measure in what planet we live. With whom we share the Earth. How many spiders, fish species are there? Where do they live? Where are the penguins and the spectacled bear? We basically owe this, especially in our case as an institute, in a very explicit manner to people like Alexander Von Humboldt, who were here in Colombia in 1801 in his way to El Chimborazo. He found the Casiquiare crossing between the Amazons and the Orinoco. And to Carl Gauss who was one of the most important math and statistical researchers. They, we may say, gave an order to the world, a specific and rational order but at the same time a passionate order. I recommend to all of you these two gentlemen’s biography and the recent German movie “Measuring the World”. that perfectly represents the perspective they had regarding Enlightenment and Romantic Enlightenment that deals with the way the world works. At the same time we need to recognize a rising concern when linking the idea of collections, and the basic numbers arrangement together with the actual expanded reality models. How we, from a bunch of data, can infer a broader knowledge. That’s what I want to talk about in my presentation. How those two things connect, and especially how they could eventually be explained and be shared with the whole world in an eventual museographic project that hasn’t been done yet. The procedure, as you saw in the previous slide, is how science works. It’s about shed some light on what isn’t seen clearly. This is the work of our researcher, who’s probably classifying ants according to their morphological characteristics. He’s arranging a world that came to him as a mess, or it was turned into a mess by the people who collected the samples. The two scenarios could happen. There, the first issue arises to explain how knowledge is constructed. That’s for sure! Whether the whole process is due to the person, who brings the samples to the lab, or whether the world is relatively arranged or not. At the institute we permanently work on, as it’s done in all biology departments of the world’s universities, performing taxonomy. Here you have the research team that performs taxonomy in the Von Humboldt Institute. They worry me a little bit, but it’s the only way to have them together in a single picture. This picture was taken a few days ago. We need to trust that their perspective of the world is a little bit more organized than Alice’s perspective of Wonderland. But anyway, Lewis Carroll was a great mathematician and a relevant researcher when it came down to representations of reality, and how the world’s models were constructed. So, I’m not going to tell you who Alice is, but she’s sitting in this auditorium. Starting from there and the descriptive science. We start connecting or reconnecting the data that we get on the field to explain to those mysterious characters who we call decision makers. This is a very peculiar tribe that usually doesn’t listen to anybody, but anyway! We try to make sure they get the information, by telling them: Look here, the big fish eats the small fish, and the small fish depends on the phytoplankton or the zooplankton, and the zooplankton depends on the nitrogen, and that’s a universal cycle. So, you end up kind of preaching about a celestial or cosmic model when you talk about an atrophic chain or about simple biological processes. Then everything gets worse when you try to talk about an ecosystem, when you try to connect everything into a model to talk about ecology. Nevertheless, ecology science, after Von Humboldt, has substantially progressed. We do have a corpus that explains to great extent the relationship among all living beings, as well as with their environment. But the definition of their environment isn’t always in tune. For some people their environments are mountains, rivers, wild habitats, and not necessarily a botanical garden, an airport or a city. In contemporary ecology, we talk about socio-ecosystems to classify those small insects, fauna and flora into a whole context. The problem arises when you start talking about taking collections from the real world, such as in an airport or in a botanical garden. The mess has already been made by the same people who are trying to understand the order of things. That’s when you could say, “the snake bit its own tail”. That is due to the fact that we can’t explain something that’s constantly transforming. Then the notion of order totally eludes us. This slide was meant to be about an ecosystem, but this one got in here somehow. Let’s say this is an urban ecosystem that’s inhabited by princesses. This is a group of good friends from Bogotá. And of course, they don’t seem to fit into the biological representation of the world. But the butterfly costumes are very well done! When you look for another explanation or modeling about data integration you always think about Humboldt and Klaus. Don’t think of this as an extracurricular activity. You can find, for instance Yage, the Ayahuasca world. How the Ayahuasca laughs about the scientific world, and it says; “no, the world that you describe is a non-existent world. All data and collections you take and store in museums are incomplete representations of what’s actually happening backstage”. So, the only way to understand the existing world is by drinking Ayahuasca. This method hasn’t been approved by the Von Humboldt Institute, don’t worry!! We don’t conduct research under the Ayahuasca effects, but there are people who have suggested the method. Here’s the ecosystem. Excuse me! In order to talk about a very important and actual thing, I’m going to spend a couple of minutes talking about something that’s been going on in Colombia for some years, The decision the Colombian Congress made to protect Colombia’s Equatorial High Mountain Ecosystems because they’re important water supplies for cities and the whole population. These ecosystems in Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are called “paramounts”. They have their equivalents in Africa, Asia and Oceania. They’re non-forest ecosystems that exist on mountain peaks. In fact, they’re called paramounts due to an adaptation from the English word “paramount”, back from colony times. The Colombian Government, in order to comply with this Congress Act, ordered us to identify Colombia’s paramounts. Easily done! Where are the paramounts? Many researchers even said “we’ll have this done in about a month”. They gave us a picture. I can’t project it here. You see the dark yellowish color in the middle of a dark green matrix, that’s the “Paramount Ecosystem”. It’s very evident when you look at it. We wouldn’t need a huge research to tell the Government “there you have the Paramo, Just grab a pen and outline the Paramo, and from there make the decisions that you need to make”. What are the decisions that need to be taken to evaluatethe size of the problem? Inside the drawn line, mining and agriculture are forbidden. Walking, living, visiting and going there aren’t forbidden. Even farming products that belong to the ecosystem aren’t forbidden. But performing agriculture, mining and oil drilling activities are forbidden. Not to mention that in many of these areas agriculture and mining activities are still carried out today. But by an order of the constitutional court they must be suspended immediately for the greater good. So, when we look at the whole picture again, we say, let’s draw the outer line. So you can assume the great amount of personal interests that influence where the outer line is drawn. How precise that outer line actually is. These pictures have different scales due to the macroscope effect of approaching until we’re able to see how the paramounts’ edges are configured in relation to the forest ecosystem which is the following: If you were told to get a pen and draw the edge in the last picture down to your right, you’ll find there are some spots, a whole bunch of problems. These’re identity problems. The Paramo, as many of us, has identity problems. We have to be careful the way we manage the Paramo. How the edge is handled. Because 200 hectares inside the Paramo, that belong to a multinational mining company, may represent a lawsuit in the thousands of the millions of dollars against the country. Or vice versa; Paramount’s areas that may be indispensable for the country’s ecological functioning that aren’t inside the Paramo can be destroyed, causing a great harm to the country. So this edge line, that seemed so easy to draw at the beginning, gave us work for 5 years. Finally, when you look closely, closely, and get to plants, animals and ecosystem components, you say! That’s the Paramo. I don’t know if you’re all acquainted with a Paramo If you have time and stay in Medellín, there are some beautiful paramounts close by, there are scheduled hikings, in a single day you can go and get back to the city. They’re at 3200- 3500 meters over sea level. You’re going to identify them very easily. They have “frailejones”, that’s the plant you see there. They have wetlands and peat bogs which are those green areas that have high mountain moors. They have rocky formations of glacial origin that are the cliffs you see there. ¡Well! You may say, if the edge line is diffuse, at least from these assembly of objects, we can partially solve that level of uncertainty. That’s been done partially. But we haven’t been able to fully accomplish it. In fact there are some paramounts that don’t have “frailejones”. There’re paramounts that don’t have rocky formation of glacial origin but volcanic origin. There are paramounts that don’t have ponds or peat bog because they’re dry. There’re paramounts that are the outcome of human intervention, therefore, drawing the border line becomes very difficult. But finally we did it, because it was a mandatory task from the government. We proposed a “Paramount Atlas” to outline its limits within the territory. But all these things; that couldn’t be defined through science, research, or share knowledge; were defined at a lawyer’s desk. How drawing the outer line in an adequate and fair manner, so that nobody’s interests would be affected in a differentiated way. “Semana Sostenible” magazine referred to the first paramount we tried to delimit as the “Santurbán Failure” Five years later we accomplished the task, despite having been sued multiple times. There’re civic strikes in the region due to the Delimitation Act and to the Ecosystem Protection Act. There are mining lawsuits. Not just that!! Right now, there’s a huge social conflict,
The map, that’s on the top, shows the approved delimitation by the Paramo Act. It´s shown in dark green. It´s shown in dark green. A mining company exploitation request in the area outside the Paramo is shown in yellow . There is a social movement that’s been developing in the last months. They say “even though the Paramo has been delimited in a scientific way to forbid mining, we don’t believe in this process,
and the location where the mining company is must be protected as if it was paramount” But it isn’t! It was already identified by science. It isn’t a paramount. But they say “we don’t care, we don’t want gold”. But the law says that mining can performed in the area outside the paramount. So, I already laid out the delimitation and the identity problem. And of course: the outer line! The line that divides. The thin line of reasoning that divides a decision that mobilizes thousands of people, There are also the guys who are collecting signatures to oppose to the licensing of the paramount. We’re between the Red and White Queens, getting back to Alice. When you’re told that your five year research process, which scientifically defined an object, a paramount to be managed; it isn’t sufficient. It isn’t correct. It isn’t complete. It’s missing something; You ask what is missing. People answer the millimeters, the scale. We need to delimit the paramount to know whether from this table forward there’s a paramount or not. But that’s impossible! The paramount is a huge object. You can’t delimit to the millimeter an object that has thousands of hectares. Why not? Because the edges are diffused. It doesn’t work like that. It’s an epistemological problem. We need to get rid of those barriers that bring about a problem. Knowing what these things are. Which are the things we have to deal with. So I’m going to take away my epistemological restriction right now because I recognize it’s a little bit heavy. Besides, I know that you’ve been distracted by it… (Taking off her corset.) So, now we start reflecting on the identity of things, the paramount’s identity, the ecosystem’s identity, including the “Frailejones”. Why are they there, or why aren’t they? That’s called having a mental cavity, and we need to go to an ontologist, to have an appointment, to try to solve those identity issues. I frequently go to an ontologist to deal with these little problems. But at the institute, let’s say, it’s a gain when you have a head ontologist. Even better!! How will we define the creation of the paramounts’ ’s biodiversity in a natural science museum, when we know that the decision we make will eventually explain the creation of the narrative, and the nature we want to protect, and those social relationships we want to manage, are in the hands of uncertain identities? That’s the Magritte Museum, that isn’t the Von Humboldt. When you research the history of the biodiversity making or its boundaries you find wonderful things, some of which we’ve brought to Parque Explora in other opportunities. This has a lot to do with the people’s difficulty to understand the idea that Colombia, as many of your countries, is mega diverse. It’s to say, that it has thousands of different birds, thousands of toads, thousands of fish. And if you ask any street citizen how many birds he knows, has seen or can identify in his daily life they’re going to answer five or ten. But if he’s a member of a rural community and is interested in the subject, he’ll answer “I know 20″. Besides, when that question is asked in a graphic manner, the answer isn’t at all consistent with the scientists’ taxonomies. But look! Out of the 20 you recognize, there are actually just two because they’re the male and the female in different colors, in different mating season, and in different biological cycles. “No, no, but you asked me how many birds I know, and I can differentiate between this one, that one and that one”. In fact, taxonomies are always arguing about the same thing. Today, they have to go into the animal’s genome to determine if they’re different. Mr. Josep Baqué, a Catalan who was a police officer back in 1890, started making an imaginary animal atlas. And for almost four decades he created more than 1,500 imaginary beings and characters that lived in his imagination. If I place this atlas next to the Catalog of Colombian Boidiversity and mix them up, it’s possible that a great deal of these imaginary beings will be recognized by people as regular ecosystem inhabitants. “I’ve seen that weird orange legged bug with wings. I saw it last week, and it was climbing a kitchen wall and ate a sweet”. Let’ see. It was a double blind test with the full Gauss’ statistics. “Even more, I stepped on it with my shoe, and I have it right here”. When I researched Josep Baqué’s biography, what worried me the most was that his mother dressed him like a girl when he was a little boy. She wanted to have a girl, so you understand this man’s problem. So let’s go into another subject. How do you build an object’s identity in culture? All of you work on it all the time. In fact, museums are entities made to do that, to represent identities in conflict, or to diminish dissonance of the existing ontological conflict among components of any object. I think this idea to catalog imaginary objects is wonderful. We’ve worked on it here at the Pataphysics Conference. They’re imaginary objects. If there’s a good faucet to save water, it’s that one, right there. If there’re safe forks, so you don’t get punctured, so kids can eat with them, there they’re. Or eating pasta avoiding getting stain, or avoiding the fork getting stained. There’s a good use for these objects.
At the end they do exist because somebody brought them into reality. When we research about our own participation in this identity world, there we do have a big problem. And for a moment, look at each other, just to identify that we do have a big problem. We’re all very different. Each one of us deserves to be in a Cabinet of Curiosities. Sometimes we want to immerse some people in formaldehyde. I personally prefer alcohol. But the outcome is more of that gender classification among people in this hilarious world. Sometimes they ask me in the street, what are you? with all due respect. What type of animal are you? An ant?
A Martian? Are you in the Catalan’s classification? At “The Identity Project” website you can auto-identify yourself and eventually end up with a denomination like… (They’re in English and it is very difficult to translate them): “Genderqueer, Tender, Hearted, Baba”. This is like picking a flavored ice cream. “Give me one, please, with a vanilla scoop, with raisins, but take away the blackberry sauce, but throw in a diet cookie, without chocolate”. That way we set up identities over and over. Of course; this doesn’t put researchers that work with identities at ease. It gets even more difficult!! Between 80 and 105 ethnic native Colombian groups, each one with its own language and each one with its own World view. For some of them ants aren’t ants but beetles. For others birds are the same as monkeys because they’re animals that jump between trees. For others reality isn’t the same as it’s for us. Yet it can be translated partially. But when we need to make serious decisions about life, it’s certain that those translations aren’t perfect. Language barriers will always be there. Besides, each of them insists in dressing up as they feel like. That’s an evident identity problem. So, they say, “we’re like this! We live here! We aren’t the others!” So I say, well. How do you set up a museum that explains such eccentricities? I refer to eccentricities in the Gaussian sense. It’s to say statistically, peripherally. I’m referring to the fact that only 1.5% of the Colombian population is indigenous, or has a knowledge system that isn’t the western’s normative scientific system.
So… I got all my slides messed up. It always happens. Ok. Besides talking about indigenous identities topic and Queer identities, I came here to specifically tell you this problem could be seen simpler if we just talk about men and women. How female and male things are built in the world. How they’re represented. Now, some deep questions. Does being a man or a woman imply having different world views and knowledge? Do women see the same ants that men see or don’t they? Are men trained to be world class models as women are? So to all these questions obviously there are some answers and discussion opportunities in epistemological terms. But probably the questions aren’t the right ones because the starting point between man and woman already contains previous definitions. It already contains established taxonomies. Supposedly everybody knows what a man or a woman is. There are biological data, and there’s some specimen or holotypes in some museum, so everybody can go there and look at them, analyze them and touch them. Based on that, they’re able to create bathroom signs because, you know, we always enter the bathroom with our clothes on. Look closely at the taxonomy of the bathroom signs to see if you can spot any identity-defining data from a biological standpoint that would allow you to determine which bathroom I can go into. I always have that problem when I go to the bathroom, and if I ask it’s even worse. So… Of course, what ecofeminism has worked on is the elimination of that naturalistic reductionism that generates a totally political construction of identity, absolutely politicized, made with the intention of creating domination. With the intention of creating a message of Truth that imposes itself on others, regardless of their differences. So what is next in the political process? Building the difference or building the truth? Depending on what you decide. How is the truth imposed on the difference? Or how does the difference question the truth? That’s what we’re basically immersed in every day. At your own institutes you must have that constant discussion on what to display. Under what pretension, what amount of truth is displayed, and how honestly it’s displayed? So, from there we define the type of relationships that are established, and the narrative that I’ll narrate, that I’ll use to interact with society, either at a natural history museum or at a contemporary art museum. I’m a biologist. I defend the idea that diversity produces diversity constantly. That any evolutionary turn, any transforming turn of the living phenomenon will always produce more differences, unless it’s an extermination process or a systematic elimination process of the difference. This process is both biological and social. What we learn in our natural experience is absolutely cultural. This isn’t new. But the only way we have to explain the world is through the world’s interpretation. It’s through using our own cognitive tools. So, even a natural history museum is first and foremost a cultural museum. This part of the discussion could be applied to any identity problem. So, if instead of sex and gender we take species and ecosystems, or we take any set of naturalistic or cultural dichotomies, we’ll have problems. We’ll always have problems. What is natural? What is it that claims the absolute truth? What is primal to knowledge? From the beginning the problem has been whether it is the scientist who brings order to the world, or whether the world has been ordered from the beginning. I’m not a philosopher. This is actually part of an everyday discussion, that’s still happening, or it wouldn’t be relevant. It still happens in the making of a natural history museum. A natural history museum created in the year 2017. I wrote down this definition about “Queer” in English to show respect for the author. Finally, we’ve come to talk about Queer. The definition is untranslatable. The term came out in 1990 at gender conferences. It actually came to be from the discussion about the impossibility of imposing a single identity model to sexuality and gender expressions in human beings. Subsequently, researchers have found that gender and sex issues are equally complicated for all living things. It’s equally problematic or even more problematic because in the biological world everything exists and more. So, the notion of Queer is interesting because, as it’s written, it says there’s something amidst the certainties. There’s a space where reality becomes viscous, where ontology doesn’t allow delimitation of things. There’s a natural delimitation of the world, and that would be intrinsic to the existence of things. Nothing is totally irreducible. In fact, part of the problems we’re facing today are created by the pretension
of reducing the objects of knowledge to a pure condition, to an absolutely clear identity condition. That’s to say, a excess of light shed over the studied object. If we light directly what we want to know, sooner or later, we won’t see the subtlety of the shadows that configure their displacement through time. That’s Queer theory, that’s to say, there’s a knowledge space that is only revealed at the corner of the eye. I think we have a great debt with Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein or The New Prometheus’ author. 100 years and six weeks ago Mary Shelley finished her first work, as a result of a literary challenge from her sentimental partner and some friends. From this work came the strongest questioning modernity has about its epistemological dealings, regarding how Frankenstein assembles and disassembles the world. Here in the slide, there’s an interpretation of Lady Frankenstein from 1934 that’s been continuously evolving in the comics’ world. Now she’s part of the Marvel universe. She has four arms. I’d like to show the aesthetic contrast between feminine and masculine monstrosity. There’re monstrosity types. Furthermore, I didn’t know there was a Lady Frankenstein movie made by Andy Warhol. He said; “if we can create a living monster, which is the synthesis of Humanity’s failures, in a certain way. Why not create a feminine one that’d be the synthesis of Humanity’s virtues?” Of course, Humanity’s virtues in Warhol and the filmmaker’s imagination were all sexual. The synthesis of feminine virtues derive from desire. That black cinema trend fortunately didn’t prosper. But Almodóvar is there! How are reality pieces sewn together? How do we sew the liver together with the head and the mind, when research and the process of ecosystem fragmentation has been done, and we’ve given a name to all parts, to the subparts and to the subparts of the subparts? How do we sew them again? The details are in the sewing. How is the paramount sewn to the forest? What kind of stitch and epistemological procedure do I use to reassemble the world and show it to someone? That was fight during the process of paramount’s delimitation. Here’s a picture of the interdigitation and difficulties of the transition zone, as well as the existing linguistic limitations to determine the transition zone. And the subjective decisions a lawyer or a politician has to make to define what is what. We have the same issues regarding human sexuality. Lawyers and politicians are those who finally have to make decisions, either consulted or not. Hopefully, these decisions would be constructed by all of us, but there’s always a level of violence that must be exerted against reality to organize it. In biology it isn’t so serious, at least in some areas of biology, because an ant is an ant today, and tomorrow it’s a beetle. So, nothing happens, except when two taxonomists meet at a congress and don’t talk to each other, or they insult each other. But it isn’t the end of the world. But when a human being falls in love with an artificial intelligence in a computer like in the movie “Her”, we get in deep trouble. I’m wrapping up. In the making of a museum, the identity issue is basic. How it defines its commitment to the object’s identity and its narratives’ constituents is very important because there are artistic decisions, there are passionate decisions, there’re linguistic decisions. We must recognize that all identities are tenuous, vulnerable. Whatever I would decide to do in Parque Explora to narrate something is full of faith and risk takings. That’s why museography is a high-risk activity. It’s a high-risk sport. But at least you have fun, don’t you? There’s adrenaline in the discussions at the curator’s office. We all know that there are crimes of passion when deciding how to organize an exhibition, but there is also passionate love. So, therefore, I ask you these two questions (and I ask myself this at the institute), is it desirable or convenient to reorganize, a museum by questioning the given identity of its components? This’s to say, ants, birds,plants: am I going to question them, or am I going to assume them as things with full validity and create from there? Or… I can question the given relationship among these components. That’s to say, do I devote myself to choose what liver I give Frankenstein? Or eventually in what way do I stitch it up, so that it works as an outcome of creativity and the proposed exercise? I’d say there’s an interesting opportunity in the Queer theory to talk about identity in depth, not just about genders and sexualities but about all things, and how narratives that connect all things are made. Especially, because it’s a theory that doesn’t intend to do away with reality, Instead it recognizes that there are irreducible spaces of uncertainty , In addition they’re fun because that’s where the possibility of making decisions lies. Although, it arises from the post-modernity theory and the structuralist criticism, it doesn’t intend to dissolve reality nor end with the objects’ identity. Instead, it only wonders, with some irony, if that identity is actually as robust as we think it is. And above all, and that’s the ethical issue, what is the effect of believing in that narrative. Believing that reality is increasingly clear
and better defined, that the objects of knowledge are increasingly pure. That perspective is worrisome, as I see it, because what it generates is that continuous narrative fragmentation. The inability to connect again in sense scenarios to find those connections we need for humankind to progress. The eights that are there, those tapes, are the Panarchic Cycles. They’ve been proposed in the ecological theory and in the more recent complex systems. It says, it’s within that objects’ instability space, in that identity wearing down moment in which innovation occurs, in which adaptation occurs, when creativity occurs to face new challenges, and to move the Universe in some direction, not necessarily teleological, but for the Universe to just continue alive. Therefore, if you adopt a critic on the given system of belief, as I told you, it doesn’t aim to its own destruction; but rather to its constant reinterpretation. I know this is where art and natural sciences museums are all mixed up. That’s why I’m here with great joy. New qualities that aren’t predictable emerge. New realities emerge. Mythical tales, that… in a certain way we despise because they’re folk tales. Our origin. Humanity’s origin. To the left we have the origin of Bogotan humanity’s. A woman was born. She came out of a pond and then came a child. We don’t know the child’s background. The child grew up, and they became a couple and populated the Earth. The woman after having populated the land returned to the pond and became a snake. You might think this’s a kind of reloaded Adam and Eve, but customized. What happened here? Here the snake left after creating. But that’s ok. That’s the Chibcha culture myth on the origin of humanity. This girl, Targaryen from Game of Thrones, she comes from a fire origin, but of course, that’s a TV series. But just remember for towns from Northern Europe, mythical origin comes from sexual relationships between dragons and women. Where does it take us? What are the options after several ontological consultations to construct identity projects again? But we don’t want them to be authoritarian, dogmatic; we want them to be flexible, pedagogical, and that they don’t end up in something like this here. The erotic engineering of selling robot sex dolls. That doesn’t practically contribute anything to humanity’s evolution; although some may get pacified. In this museographic arrangement of rubber and mechanical bodies you’d have to think new narratives different from those of Frankenstein may emerge. But these dolls are going to have artificial intelligence sooner or later. They’ll learn their client’s likings. They’ll have algorithms like those on your apps that ask you “do you like this, or don’t you like this?” In order to continue learning with us and defining these new entities’ identity so that it isn’t so harmless, we’re in the process of creating new objects, of creating new elements in the ecosystem in the context of new relationships. We may think some are simulated processes and others are structuring processes. How much of a feminine or masculine perspective about knowledge, behavior and construction of the world do we actually have? What are the gender identity qualities we apply to our understanding of the world? I think there’s a lot of different criteria, that are historically constructed. They’re learning processes, as well as differentiation processes. Everyone knows biology’s evolutionary process. Each single line corresponds to thousands of species that’ve appeared within a taxonomic group at some point in history. Fish from the cretaceous era, and so on. How can we narrate the history of biodiversity as a spiral were its beginning is at the center? Can it eventually be narrated as a wave in which there’re sub-waves such asnano-biotechnological orcybernetics? That is the next step for beings that inhabit the Earth And they aren’t imaginary beings. They aren’t Yage beings. They aren’t mythical creatures, as those shown at the beginning of the lecture. They’re actual beings. I’m not going to say that they’re flesh and blood beings, because they aren’t flesh and blood beings. But, they’re beings. We have to think if making this ontological doubt exercise that arises from the Queer Theory is ethically satisfactory. What the effects are of a discussion between a modern classical knowledge perspectives, that still prevails in many museums, which is very important to explain the world, and a more liquid perspective of that reality where we can risk new narratives, and new interpretation of what happens to us or to the world. I won’t read them, but undoubtedly they have to do with the topic of how to handle freedom. Desire-Museum-Desire A museum is a space to desire more because it’s a space for knowledge. Of course, that’s Brigitte, my Brigitte, and her most recent picture on Twitter. Although, she apparently appears to have renounced to be the queen of desire, in her 80’s she still feels like it. How do I think that we can rethink a museum? As a device that explains inter-subjectivity, that’s to say, knowledge is inter-subjective. It isn’t an absolute truth. It never is. Science doesn’t pretend to be but many political systems do. A museum would be a detector of emerging patterns, of new things and of new identities that are being created in the world. Some of them definitely unviable, some others will give room to huge phylogenies. We don’t know what we’re going to inhabit Mars with but in 100 years we’ll inhabit Mars. Mars won’t be the Earth. A museum is an aesthetic and political binder of these innovation narratives. There’s no museum free of governmental control. Even if we argue every day with the government, the government will tell us every day what it’s that it wants to be displayed and what it doesn’t, or what the government wants to discuss and what it doesn’t, and how to do it. And the financing will always be in the middle as a power instrument to define whether we can get naked ants or not. And finally, a museum as a revealer of the delirium, the mystery, of the bond that allows realities to be assembled, but not a definitive bonding that anchors some things next to others. Therefore, I think that a Queer Museum should not document the monsters from the past , that are so attractive and exciting, but it must help produce the monsters of the future. Thank you very much.

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James Ru

I thought you might appreciate this album which contains some tunes that question heterosexism and express some thoughts about queer ecology.  Check out We Don't Have No Cornflakes, Get out of Town,  When Heterosexuals Rule the World, Lions, Bison Dragonflies and Swans,  (all species with homosexuality, ) and others.  If you enjoy it please feel free to pass it along to your other friends.


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